Clean Up - Make Your Computer Once Again Like New
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Clean Up - Make Your Computer Once Again Like New
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  Here I will walk you through step-by-step in cleaning out every area, the things that are bogging down your computer. To assist you, I have been liberal with screenshots which you can click to enlarge any of them. The example I am using is in Windows XP Pro. However the steps in Vista are pretty much the same, bar a few minor differences. I will try and point those differences out as we go. Before we get started, let's look at a few statistics our computer gives us to see where we are at, so we can see how we've improved later.


  Let's start by seeing what type of system you have. Either on the desktop, or in the start menu, find "My Computer". Right click on it and select properties. Under the general tab, like the picture below. It should give you some information like what Operating System you're running, who the computer is registered to, etc. What we want to know is what type of computer you have. It should list what type of processor, and what I want you to remember even more, how much RAM you have. In my case it's 3GB. (Listed here as 2.99GB)




   Next, let's see how much of that RAM is currently being used up by the various programs you have running on your computer, both in the foreground, and the background. On your keyboard, press Control + Alt + Delete at the same time. This should bring up Windows Task Manager as pictured below. The tab we are interested in is the "Performance" Tab, go ahead and click on it so it looks like the picture below.



  In the upper portion you will see CPU Usage, this should be relatively low unless you are actively using programs in a way that they currently are performing calculations. Even now with mine open I have several programs running such as Photoshop which is pretty resource intensive, but not on the CPU, not until I go to save a picture or the like. If you notice you are not actively doing anything on the computer, and your CPU usage is high, then a program or even a virus is actively running, and for whatever the reason, has the need to be actively crunching calculations. The lower half is PF Usage, which stands for Page File Usage. Briefly, a page file is overflow from the RAM to the hard drive. (In my case my Page File Usage is 724MB). The number I want to focus on however is in the boxes below under "Physical Memory (K)". Notice I currently have a total of 3136552 Kb of RAM, or roughly 3GB of RAM, and I have 2.27GB available still meaning I'm using roughly .7GB, or 700MB. Take a look at your numbers here, and even record them, at the end of this exercise we will revisit this, and hopefully see a considerable drop in PF Usage, and a gain in available physical memory.


  One more thing we want to record is how much free space you have available on your active operating system hard drive. (On almost all computers that's your (C:) Drive). So open up My Computer which may be located on your desktop or in your start menu, and right click on your (C:) Hard drive and then click properties. It should bring up a window like this:



  Take note of not just the pie chart, but look at the numbers listed under Used, and Free space. In my case I'm using 248 GB, and I have 251 GB Free. Ignore the numbers on the far right as they are approximates and don't give us an accurate count.



Helpful Tips

Did you know that building your own computer - or having one built for you - can allow you to have top brand parts in a quality built machine while saving money compared to the cost of a computer from most major manufactures such as Dell or Hewlett Packard?